GENEVA (AP) — UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has publicly spoken out against shortening the World Cup’s schedule by two years.
“More is not always better,” the 53-year-old said during his speech at the general assembly of the European club association ECA. “The international sporting calendar does not require it.” And the players don’t need another summer with a tournament rather than a break. Holding the Football World Championships every two years would devalue the tournament.
In May, FIFA launched a feasibility study for the men’s and women’s tournaments, suggested by Saudi Arabia. The FIFA plan received support from Africa, among others. The World Cup with 32 teams will be held in Qatar for the last time in 2022. For the tournament but one in 2026 in the United States, Canada and Mexico, the number of participants will increase to 48 teams.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino was not present in person at the ECA meeting on Monday, but a video of a keynote speech was recorded. In this the Swiss said: “There are no taboo subjects, the door of FIFA is open to every idea, every proposal. (…) We should not see it as a kind of fight, as I hear it here And there.”
Ceferin also promoted reform of UEFA’s financial control system, Financial Fair Play, during his speech. Given the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Slovenian began his speech with the question: “Do we really want to return to normalcy?” After all, it can also mean “average” or “standard.”
“We want a better, healthier ‘new normal,'” Ceferin said. What was “maybe not good enough”. The umbrella organization is hosting a conference on the future of European football this Thursday and Friday. It’s time to question old ways and habits, Ceferin said.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210906-99-114868/2
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